Thursday, September 17, 2009

Never Again

Defeated & Torn
darkness all around me - i can't catch my breath
the demons that destroyed your mind are clawing at my neck.
trapped inside this tiny room - hands tied behind my back
i watch in fear and helplessness at my daughter dressed in black.
little girl lost where have you gone - they've stolen your soul as thieves
left you to bleed alone on the floor as your mother watches and grieves.
hell laughs at me and stabs my wounds shrieking, "she'll never come home!"
my hope has died i must admit, i'm weary and believe their drone.
my little girl i cannot save - defeat has locked the door
i tried so hard, i cried, i prayed, now hope lays dead upon the floor.

I wrote this poem a few years ago when my daughter was at her lowest. And so was I.
As I read over it today, those old feelings came back. Defeated. Torn. Hopeless. I remember writing the poem with tears streaming down my face and my stomach clenched in knots of pain. I was absolutely certain at this time that God had turned a deaf ear my way and I was going to lose my daughter to depression.

Today, I sat across from her at our desk and watched as she giggled and talked non-stop about random things. I tried to catch a glimpse of that little girl who had been taken and beaten by a darkness we couldn't penetrate. I didn't see her.

And I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that I will never see her again. I have my daughter back. The little girl that she was before her battle and glimpses of the woman she is becoming. The years I spent teaching her from the Bible, homeschooling her…all worth it. The years she has spent in my lap, in my arms, and at my side watching and learning how to be a wife, mommy, and woman…all worth it. All the time and energy I placed into raising her has become my reward now. And I can only see this investment continuing to grow and give back to me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Education or Ignorance ~ Which do you choose?

It is amazing to me that in this information age and with so many groups and resources available to us, that many people still speak about things using their opinions as fact. Why someone would rather show their stupidity and biases instead of gathering facts is beyond me. This kind of ignorance can't be tolerated anymore.

One of the issues people like to talk about and make judgements about but make no effort to learn about is cutting. My daughter cut for several years. At first, it scared me to death. I had no idea what was wrong or why she was doing it. The sight of those bright red lines on her arms and legs made me nauseous every time I caught a glimpse of them. That wasn't too often because she (like most cutters) hid them under long sleeves and pants. Even in hot weather.

It started about two years after her depression started. At that time, we had no idea she had depression, either, just that something was wrong. She was slowly slipping farther and farther down into a deep, dark pit and didn't know how to reach out for help or even why she hurt so bad inside. One of the boys in her class "burned" a picture with an eraser on her hand and for a minute her internal pain disappeared. She went home that night and gave herself her first cut. She said feeling the pain of the cut and seeing the blood took the pain from inside and placed it on the outside where she could see it and deal with it. It gave her a high like she'd never felt. She became addicted to it. Addicted to the adrenalin rush she got from it. The deeper her depression got, the longer and deeper her cuts became.

All of this was so hard for me to understand until I got an information packet from the doctor. As I read through it, I came to a section on other forms of self-injury. One of these methods was burning. I felt as if I'd been slammed into a brick wall. All these years later and a memory came crashing back into my head. I'd been sexually abused as a child for many years. I remember starting in my junior year of high school (about a year after the abuse stopped) I began burning myself with cigarette lighters. I remember the unbearable, intense pain I felt inside that I just couldn't deal with. When I'd burn my wrists, arms, and legs the pain inside was drowned out. I, too, had an amazing rush of good feelings when I'd burn. I became addicted. My heart would race and I'd feel so high.

Suddenly, I completely understood my daughter when she'd tell my why she cut. And finally I was validated by doctors and psychiatrists that assured me I wasn't to blame for her cutting or depression.

I've posted 2 links below for those of you that are just in the dark and want to know more so that maybe you could be of help to someone. Teenagers aren't the only ones that cut. Adults do it, too. Depression strikes teenagers and adults. You could be the person that holds out a life line to someone in need. You could possibly save a life.

For those of you that make judgments on the parents that have children who cut or have depression ~ these links are especially for you. If you want to remain uneducated, then PLEASE don't talk about issues you refuse to learn about. It makes you look ignorant and you are doing a terrible disservice to the people you come into contact with that are crying out for help and you can't see it because of your self-righteousness.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don't Forget....

Blessed. Blessed. Blessed

I am so blessed. It doesn't matter what is going on around me lately. I haven't focused on the negative.

"It doesn't matter. Rise above. Move on."

And don't forget to count those blessings. The biggest one of all right now? That my daughter is healthy again. That help came our way before it was too late. Every time she smiles or I hear her laughing, it fills me with such joy. Her eyes are actually sparkling once more. A year ago, it all felt so hopeless. But I handed her over to God and told Him I could no longer do it on my own. I told Him I trusted whatever He had planned and wanted to do.

That's where the blessing came from. Giving up control and trusting. When she came home in April, I was so scared that things would go back to the way they were. For a brief moment, she struggled. I fell apart. I heard God whisper to me one night, "Remember when you trusted her to me before? Do it again." I cried. I remembered so vividly the night I lay on my floor and sobbed and fought before I handed her over. What was hard to do the first time, was a little easier the second time.

And she came back around and has not fallen back off the path since. She has big dreams and is making plans to study graphic design in Chicago next year. I imagine God will be speaking to me yet again about handing her over to Him. When that times comes, I will have had plenty of practice.

It's no secret that I struggle in my relationship with Him. It stems from my abusive past. I still can't forgive Him or accept the fact that He listened to me scream and cry to Him as a child to help me and did nothing. Until almost 20 years later. Then I'm reminded that His time is not our time. His ways are not our ways. He didn't bring sin into this world.

I'm learning one day at a time to trust Him. It is seriously almost an impossible task for me to give up control to Him and let Him handle things. But on more than one occasion the past few months, He has come through. Instead of getting stressed out and trying to fix situations on my own, I calmly handed them over and said, "I trust You to take care of this for me." Whether it was financial or someone making problems for me, it didn't matter. He took care of it.

I remember the first time this summer when I just wanted to pay off some bills. Instead of budgeting out and stressing out over it like I usually do, I simply showed Him the bills and said, "I trust You to take care of this for me." Within DAYS, an unexpected check for $1500 came in the mail. No lie. I stood at the mailbox with my mouth gaping open and crying. Thanking. Gaining faith back. Hmmmm...I had just one more bill I wanted to take care of. Could He do it again? Repeat the steps and this time a huge check I was expecting not to come until October, came within 2 weeks. Repeat my reactions again.

I could name numerous times He's come through for me the past few months. I've been blown away with how He has heard me and answered. Is He making up for lost time? Proving His love for me? Putting my faith back where it once was?

Well, it's working. Whatever it is I'm facing, I have no problem handing over to Him and letting Him handle it. Trusting. Believing. Waiting for His timing.

"It doesn't matter." He will bring out the truth. He will take care of the situation.
"Rise above." I won't dwell on the problem or the person. I won't stress out or play their games.
"Move on." I'll put it into His hands and leave it there. Where it belongs.

And in the meantime, I won't forget to count my blessings.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A trip back in time.....

Today ~ I turned my back on my homework, left my phone behind, put the grocery shopping on hold, let the house sit in dust....and ran away with my kids.

I had the best day ever. We left early this morning and drove to New Ulm. It's a city full of history for my family. My great-grandpa came over from Germany and settled here many years ago. It's where my grandparents raised my dad and his siblings. It's where we spent countless days every summer camping. It's where my great-grandparents, grandparents and sister are buried, along with numerous other relatives.

The main reason for going was to visit my grandma's grave. The 5-yr anniversary of her death is next Tuesday. I haven't been back there since the day we buried her. It was hard going back but it was even harder leaving. I felt close to her and just wanted to sit all day long at her grave side and be with her. Which is silly, because I know she isn't there. But I'd like to believe that she sat with me today and wiped the tears that fell. I can hear her saying ,"Don't cry for me, Lori. I'm in a better place. No pain. I'll see you when you get here." She always told me growing up that she didn't want me crying for her when she was gone. Just remember the good times and know that she's happy and loves me. It's hard losing someone that is your world and loves you so unconditionally.

We saw Hermann the German and Cam actually went all the way to the top this time! We were so proud of him even though he only stayed up there for about 3 minutes and then promptly told us he would be "all the way at the bottom" waiting for us. I've been to Hermann so many times since I was little I can't even count. It is so amazing to be able to share these places with my own children and talk about my memories with them. I remember my dad taking us throughout New Ulm every summer when we stayed there and sharing all of his stories with us about growing up there. I hope my kids can someday pass this on to their children.

Of course, we couldn't forget to visit the Glockenspiel. The bells strike the hour and the door opens up...and as the bells chime out their tune, the characters that represent New Ulm's heritage move and spin around. This time it brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of my heritage and the great losses and trials my family has had the past few years. Of all the memories that will never be and all the history that can never be rewritten.

We ran all over the city today trying to get everything into one day. We didn't succeed but we had fun trying. We made new memories and we laughed. At one point, we decided to visit this mall in the middle of downtown. I don't know what happened to it but we walked in and up and down the entire mall, except for Herberger's at one end, was totally bare. Like everyone had gone out of business. My son remarked that it was "really creepy" and "too quiet." We high-tailed it out of there and laughed about it all the way down the block.

As we toured old historic buildings, we tried to capture orbs on the camera. We all like the ghost shows and thought we'd try our hand at it. Amazingly, we caught about 4-5 up at the BC Historical Society. One in the Ulm room where there was a bunch of old furniture from Germany and then the rest upstairs mostly around an old wagon like the one on Laura Ingalls.

The best part of my day was just being with my kids. Away from everything. I've been so engrossed in my school work that I haven't had many opportunities to just hang out with them. And though the end of my day landed on a sour note once I checked my emails and voicemails, the amazing memories I made with my family today quickly drowned it all out and put the smile back on my face. It will be hard to erase it for some time!